Dual consent? Donors’ and recipients’ views about involvement in decision-making on the use of embryos created by gamete donation in research

Dual consent? Donors’ and recipients’ views about involvement in decision-making on the use of embryos created by gamete donation in research
Research Article
Baía, C. de Freitas, C. Samorinha, V. Provoost, S. Silva
BMC Medical Ethics, 2 December 2019; 20(90) 
Open Access
Abstract
Background
Reasonable disagreement about the role awarded to gamete donors in decision-making on the use of embryos created by gamete donation (EGDs) for research purposes emphasises the importance of considering the implementation of participatory, adaptive, and trustworthy policies and guidelines for consent procedures. However, the perspectives of gamete donors and recipients about decision-making regarding research with EGDs are still under-researched, which precludes the development of policies and guidelines informed by evidence. This study seeks to explore the views of donors and recipients about who should take part in consent processes for the use of EGDs in research.
Methods
From July 2017 to June 2018, 72 gamete donors and 175 recipients completed a self-report structured questionnaire at the Portuguese Public Bank of Gametes (response rate: 76%). Agreement with dual consent was defined as the belief that the use of EGDs in research should be consented by both donors and recipients.
Results
The majority of participants (74.6% of donors and 65.7% of recipients) were willing to donate embryos for research. Almost half of the donors (48.6%) and half of the recipients (46.9%) considered that a dual consent procedure is desirable. This view was more frequent among employed recipients (49.7%) than among non-employed (21.4%). Donors were less likely to believe that only recipients should be involved in giving consent for the use of EGDs in research (25.0% vs. 41.7% among recipients) and were more frequently favourable to the idea of exclusive donors’ consent (26.4% vs. 11.4% among recipients).
Conclusions
Divergent views on dual consent among donors and recipients indicate the need to develop evidence-based and ethically sustainable policies and guidelines to protect well-being, autonomy and reproductive rights of both stakeholder groups. More empirical research and further theoretical normative analyses are needed to inform people-centred policy and guidelines for shared decision-making concerning the use of EGDs for research.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s